N.B.: It is always possible that links below will have expired, or that the link will take you to an archive, where you must part with $3.00 or so for a 750-word article. Another possibility is that a subscription or registration of some sort will be required. We apologize for any inconvenience, noting only that there frankly are too many links on the site to keep up with them all.
If, however, you would like us to find a now-expired article in our archives, we'd be happy to send it to you, if available. Please use the contacts link.
Rebekah Splaine of the W-League's New England Renegades. She had two assists playing for the reconstituted Boston Breakers on 19 June. (onlyagame.org)
Much of the media attention on the defunct women's league has been directed toward ex-players and their diverse pursuits. Many are still playing, in the W-League and the Women's Premier Soccer League (listen to the story on WBUR Boston's Only a Game, 22 May, and to the update on 3 July; the second link opens the Real Media Player). "In the meantime," the Washington Post writes while tracking down members of the last league champion, the Freedom, "many former players are adjusting to a new life of standardized hours spent amid cubicles and telephone headsets and office supplies" (Dan Steinberg, "Coping with the Loss of Freedom," 13 June). The Freedom, like other WUSA teams, are keeping themselves together with informal training sessions and scrimmages. Washington has scheduled a friendly for 14 July with Nottingham Forest Ladies Football Club (see Beau Dure, "League in Limbo, but Games Go On," USA Today, 24 June). The taste of professional sports appears to have changed those who were involved. In the Washington Post account, we learn that ex-Freedom player Jacqui Little wept as her boyfriend, D.C. United goalkeeper Nick Rimando, began training for the season. And former U.S. international striker Tiffeny Milbrett suggests that the taste of professional life with the New York Power helped lead her to leave the senior national side:
I'm an adult. I'm 31 years old. I've played maybe a 1,000 more games in the modern era of the women's game than April [Heinrichs] has, and I feel like there's things that need to happen in order to facilitate an environment for professional women soccer players. If that environment isn't going to be professional and if that environment isn't going to allow me to be the player that I am, then it's not worth it. (quoted in "Where's Tiffeny?" Associated Press, 20 June)
The machinations among Kenya's football authorities, one columnist writes, make it harder for Kenyans to see in football "the potential to change their lives." (www.kenya.de)
I choose to believe that Fifa have, through this suspension, granted Kenya a clean slate to reposition the pillars of the game for posterity. The message the suspension delivers appears to be that the sooner the government minister and his KFF Stakeholders Transitional Committee can get the electioneering process in motion and get an independent KFF office elected, and in place, the quicker we can be re-admitted to the world[,] but we need to take a break and re-think things. . . . Football is the most popular sport in Kenya but it has been abused by those who have found their way to administering it. In the process, this has discouraged many people from seeing in it the potential to change their lives. (Sulubu Tuva, "FIFA Ban Gives Us Chance to Redeem Kenyan Soccer," Daily Nation, 5 June)
As for FIFA's role, the incident demonstrates—as with the absurd docking and then restoration of six World Cup qualifying points from Cameroon, all over their donning of a one-piece uniform at the African Cup of Nations in January—the organization's amazing reach and its own unchecked authority. As centenary festivities died down in Paris, Marcelo Balvé wrote eloquently of FIFA's unique role among world sporting organizations, referring to Diego Maradona's characterization of FIFA as a "mafia, a sect." Balvé writes, "Some compare FIFA . . . to the United Nations because of its lack of transparency, its bureaucratic character and because it is the supreme authority overseeing the unruly mass of national soccer organizations that together constitute the corruption-prone world of international soccer. No matter where you are, be it in France, Brazil or Iran, soccer fans regard the acronym with a mixture of dread and respect" ("On 100th Birthday, World Soccer's Governing Body Wields Vast Power," New California Media, 2 June). As for Cameroon, if they dare to wear the singlet, we salute them.
Update, 29 Jan 05: On 9 July 2004 FIFA announced formation of a Normalisation Committee, chaired by International Olympic Committee executive member and legendary middle-distance runner Kipchoge Keino. One month later, on 6 August, FIFA provisionally restored Kenya's international status, meaning that its World Cup qualifiers could be rescheduled. With two games in hand on Group 5 leaders Guinea, Kenya trails by just two points with six points from its three matches thus far. The five group winners in Africa advance to the World Cup finals.
For more background on the Kenyan situation, read Adili 55 (PDF file; 26 April 2004). The newsletter of Transparency International Kenya, an NGO advocating accountability in government, this issue addresses a long history of corruption in the Kenya Football Federation and in Kenyan sports in general. "[C]orrupt sports administrators enjoy massive benefits from sports at the expense of sportsmen and women, many of whom live and die in crushing poverty," begins the lead article.
Grenada Prime Minister Kevin Mitchell was a math professor at Howard University and is a former captain of Grenada's cricket team. (AP)